A Guide to 3D Printing Chances are you have heard about 3D printing and is wondering what the hype is all about. Well, much of what you heard is true but to know exactly what 3D printing is, below are some fast facts. Simply put, 3D printing is a way of producing a solid physical object from a digital 3D prototype. The reason “printing” is in the term can be attributed to the assembly process which is similar to printing ink on paper. A lot of well-known 3D printers make use of a base material that are put together in layers to eventually come up with a finished product. It is an additive process which starts by printing the bottom layer and adding the other layers on top of it until the object is rendered. 3D printing is actually not a recent invention for it has been in use in industrial settings for quite some time now. The surge in its popularity can be traced to the accessibility of its present software and the cheaper and smaller hardware it uses. Though still expensive, the price tag of a 3D printer has never been lower and the array of 3D modeling programs has never been better. The printers have become a must-have for people who like making their own customized products and parts like the DIYers.
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3D printers may seem like something out of a science fiction novel for ordinary people now but that is changing. A 3D printer and copier is in the works that can duplicate physical objects and print them without difficulty that anyone can do it. In the near future, 3D printing will become as ordinary as photocopying that can be done by anyone.
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Right now, a chocolate printer can 3D print something you imagine in chocolate. Another printer can help you 3D print an action figure of yourself. 3D printed prosthetics are being tested by doctors and hospitals. At home, do-it-yourselfers’ printing projects include custom mounts for webcams, smartphone cases, and broken appliance parts to extend the life of an expensive equipment. 3D printing gives anyone the capability to print their own objects, the parts of bigger items, or even complex and ambulatory gizmos. If you see yourself doing 3D printing in all seriousness, buying your own printer is the way to go. It remains costly but the price tag has gone down a great deal from the time it was introduced. If the price is out of your reach, you may want to join your local hackerspace who will let you use it for a fee. You can also look at your local library, at a community college or in a vocational school if they have a 3D printer you can use.